THE CONSERVATIVES have pledged to ‘free farming from unnecessary bureaucracy‘ should they win the next election.

At a speech to NFU members in Colchester, Jim Paice, the shadow secretary of state for agriculture, claimed that when the Tories said they would cut red tape they meant it.

“No industry, let alone one facing such considerable change, can afford the current level of extra costs in the face of imports from producers who do not face them,” he said.

Agriculture is one of a host of industries which a Conservative government would help to liberate through reduced interference.

By reducing the number of civil servants in DEFRA and other government departments the Tories hope to improve the competitiveness of the UK as a place to do business.

“We will substantially reduce the number of DEFRA bureaucrats, we will abolish unnecessary quangos and most importantly we will give businesses the right to seek judicial review of regulations which you believe have been gold-plated,” said Mr Paice. 

 “Just as farmers are having to squeeze costs out of the system so must all those public and industry bodies which control or influence farming.

“There is a simple message – every one of these people puts extra costs on farmers and on taxpayers with very little to show for it in terms of value for money.

“We will reverse the culture of bureaucracy as a first step towards returning profitability to farming.”